17 CFR § 12.34 - Discovery by a decisionmaking official.

§ 12.34 Discovery by a decisionmaking official.

(a) Applicability. The provisions of this section shall apply to all decisional proceedings commenced pursuant to § 12.26. For the purposes of this section, the term “decisionmaking official” shall mean an Administrative Judge or Administrative Law Judge assigned to render a decision in the proceeding.

(b) Production of documents and tangible things -

(1) Order for production. A decisionmaking official may, upon the official's own motion, order a party or non-party to produce copies of specifically designated documents, papers, books, accounts, or tangible things (or categories of any of the foregoing) which are in the possession, custody or control of the party, non-party or agent thereof, against whom the order is directed. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a party or nonparty ordered to produce documents or any of the items under this paragraph (b)(1) shall file and serve the documents and items listed in the order within twenty (20) days from the date of service of the order, or within such period of time as the decisionmaking official may direct. The decisionmaking official may issue subpoenas to compel the production by parties or non-parties of such documents and tangible things as are described in this section.

(2) Trade secrets, commercially sensitive or confidential information. If any party or person against whom an order to produce has been directed acting in good faith has reason to believe that any documents or other tangible thing ordered to be produced contains a trade secret, or commercially sensitive or other confidential information, the party or person may, in lieu of serving any such document, in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, file and serve a written request for confidential treatment of such documents. Any such request for confidential treatment shall be accompanied by a verified statement identifying with particularity the information on those documents considered to be trade secrets, commercially sensitive or confidential information, with reasons therefor, and indicating which portions, if any, of those documents may be served on other parties without disclosure of such information. Upon considering a request for confidential treatment in accordance with this paragraph (b)(2), the decisionmaking official may, if upon a finding that the information identified in the request warrants confidential treatment and is not probative of any material fact in controversy, make copies of the documents produced, delete such information from the copies, and serve the copies as modified upon the other parties, with or without an appropriate protective order limiting dissemination to the parties and their counsel, if any.

(3) Inability to produce. Any party or person who cannot produce documents or other tangible things called for in an order for production, because those documents or things are not in their possession, custody, or control, shall file and serve within the time provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section a verified statement identifying the documents which cannot be produced and setting forth with particularity the reasons for non-production.

(c) Order for written testimony. The decisionmaking official may, upon the official's own motion, order a party or non-party witness to submit verified statements or written responses to interrogatories, or both, as to all relevant matters within the party's personal knowledge which are required in response to the order. A party or person ordered to file affidavits and/or verified written responses to interrogatories shall file and serve the documents within such period of time as the decisionmaking official may direct. The official may issue subpoenas to compel the filing by parties or non-parties of such verified statements and written responses as are described in this paragraph (c).

[86 FR 64355, Nov. 18, 2021]

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